Thomas Corsini, a well-educated layman of Orvieto, Italy, experienced a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary
in which she asked him to undertake spiritual battle for the cause
under her banner. Thomas was at first reluctant to act upon the mysterious vision, unsure whether it was merely an illusion. But when the vision occurred a second time, he became convinced that it was a manifestation of God's will
for him. Thomas thereupon entered the Order of Servants of Mary
(the Servites). His humility
prompted him to remain a lay brother of the order rather than advance to the priesthood. Moreover, he was assigned at his request to the lowly duty
of begging for donations to the order. When on one occasion a pregnant poor woman
expressed to him a craving for fresh figs on a January day, when figs were not in season, he went into the monastery garden and miraculously found three ripe figs on a tree to satisfy her longing.